Explain the process of carbon dating

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It is used in dating things such as bone, cloth, wood and plant fibers that were created in the relatively recent past by human activities. Along with hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur, carbon is a building block of biochemical molecules ranging from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to active substances such as hormones.The 6 proton 6 neutron atoms are said to have a mass of 12 and are referred to as "carbon-12." The nuclei of the remaining one percent of carbon atoms contain not six but either seven or eight neutrons in addition to the standard six protons.They have masses of 13 and 14 respectively and are referred to as "carbon-13" and "carbon-14." If two atoms have equal numbers of protons but differing numbers of neutrons, one is said to be an "isotope" of the other.When isotopes are to be designated specifically, the chemical symbol is expanded to identify the mass (for example, C is not stable.As a result it is always undergoing natural radioactive decay while the abundances of the other isotopes are unchanged.At an ar­chaeological dig, a piece of wooden tool is unearthed and the archaeologist finds it to be 5,000 years old.A child mummy is found high in the Andes and the archaeologist says the child lived more than 2,000 years ago.

When they die, they cease to consume them, and the isotope of C-14 begins to revert back to its Nitrogen state at an exponential rate due to its radioactive decay.This process causes a proton to be displaced by a neutron, effectively turning atoms of Nitrogen it into an isotope of carbon – known as”radiocarbon”.It is naturally radioactive and unstable, and will therefore spontaneously decay back into N-14 over a period of time.We have written many articles about Carbon Dating for Universe Today. ­ ­You probably have seen or read news stories about fascinating ancient artifacts.

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